Daria Navalnaya’s Strength

What is it like to be the daughter of an imprisoned international figure, in this case someone who opposed Vladimir Putin?  How does one cope? What kind of strength must one develop? I read about Daria Navalnaya, the 21-year-old daughter of Alexei Navalny in an interview she gave the German magazine Der Spiegel and these questions kept coming up for me . As we know Navalny is serving a prison sentence for having criticized and stood up to Putin, not an ordinary adversary. Since 2019 Daria has been studying psychology at Stanford  University in California. Recently she traveled to Strasbourg in France to appear before the European parliament to give a speech on behalf of her father and receive  its prestigious human rights award, The Sakharov Prize. In the interview she talks about corresponding with her father, asking for his advice about the speech she was giving, visiting him in prison and seeing him look pale and weaker. She also talks about the fears she’s always had for him and growing up ending up seeing everyone as a spy.  For some this would be paralyzing, for her it isn’t. She sounds focused and determined. We all have our issues and problems, even serious ones, but few of us are confronted with this kind of challenge. Many  I’m sure have had experiences that helps them relate to Navalnaya. I for one had a sister who lived 17 years as a total paraplegic . every time I stand up under a hot shower I remember she couldn’t. Daria had to learn to delve into herself for  strengths most of us do not require. I suspect she had to do that just to survive. Doesn’t matter how she did it or what strength she developed, she did it and in doing it she reminds us of  how strong human beings can be in the face of big challenges.

One thought on “Daria Navalnaya’s Strength”

  1. Thank you, Danielle, I had missed the story about Daria in the news. Yes, remembering what strength some people have to draw on is inspiring.

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